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post #1 of 51 Old 04-09-2012, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I am finding myself with a possible solution to use my HTPC as an audio device for whole home audio.

However, in order for me to test any further, I need to take an HDMI out from an HTPC and have that connect directly to a speaker, or set of left and right speakers. So, no receiver inbetween, just direct from hdmi out of computer to speakers (with a converter inbetween of course).

Does such a converter exist?
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post #2 of 51 Old 04-09-2012, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm thinking if I could go HDMI to component left and right, then I can splice the wire to go to the speaker itself also.
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post #3 of 51 Old 04-09-2012, 01:15 PM
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You need to de-embed the audio data from the data stream, then decode it, convert to analog, amplify and feed to the speakers.
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post #4 of 51 Old 04-09-2012, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.amazon.com/HDMI-RCA-VGA-C...4004832&sr=1-1

Would that cable work? I'd connect the red and white cables to the speakers.
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post #5 of 51 Old 04-09-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:


Would that cable work?

No, a $14 cable will not de-embed the audio data, convert it analog or amplify it.
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post #6 of 51 Old 04-09-2012, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, what will this 14 dollar cable do then, adn what cable will do what I want
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post #7 of 51 Old 04-09-2012, 02:27 PM
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Doesn't exist. You need a DAC and an ampifier...at the very least a receiver with HDMI in.
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post #8 of 51 Old 04-09-2012, 03:18 PM
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The HDMI cable is carrying a digital signal, it's not just a matter of "converting" the plug on the end. Speakers are analog devices, not digital, unless they have a built-in decoder.

IF you had some sort of "smart" (and self-amplified, of course) speakers that could decode the digital audio stream and play it back, then you could do what you want, but I've never heard of such speakers.

There MAY be some self-amplified speakers out there that will decode a TOSLINK (fiber optic) stream, but again, you're on your own there. IF you find something like that, there are some cheap boxes that will split the digital stream out and convert it from HDMI to TOSLINK. Or add yet another box to decode TOSLINK to line-level analog audio. That's a lot of steps in the chain. Better to start with the right signal in the first place.
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post #9 of 51 Old 04-09-2012, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzirkelb View Post

I am finding myself with a possible solution to use my HTPC as an audio device for whole home audio.

However, in order for me to test any further, I need to take an HDMI out from an HTPC and have that connect directly to a speaker, or set of left and right speakers. So, no receiver inbetween, just direct from hdmi out of computer to speakers (with a converter inbetween of course).

Does such a converter exist?

Maybe take a step backwards. What is it that you need to test? What is that you are trying to accomplish?

If you can describe it to us with detail, perhaps someone can give you the answer since your strategy here for hooking speakers up to an HTPC via HDMI won't work.

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post #10 of 51 Old 04-09-2012, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzirkelb View Post

I am finding myself with a possible solution to use my HTPC as an audio device for whole home audio.

However, in order for me to test any further, I need to take an HDMI out from an HTPC and have that connect directly to a speaker, or set of left and right speakers. So, no receiver inbetween, just direct from hdmi out of computer to speakers (with a converter inbetween of course).

Does such a converter exist?

Yes, its called an Audio Video Receiver (AVR).

There is no single conductor in a HDMI cable that contains, all by itself any kind of analog audio or video signal. It is all digital.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI

Here is a description of the wires in a HDMI cable or the pins on a HDMI connector:



Type A receptacle HDMI
Pin 1 TMDS Data2+
Pin 2 TMDS Data2 Shield
Pin 3 TMDS Data2-
Pin 4 TMDS Data1+
Pin 5 TMDS Data1 Shield
Pin 6 TMDS Data1-
Pin 7 TMDS Data0+
Pin 8 TMDS Data0 Shield
Pin 9 TMDS Data0-
Pin 10 TMDS Clock+
Pin 11 TMDS Clock Shield
Pin 12 TMDS Clock-
Pin 13 CEC
Pin 14 Reserved (HDMI 1.0-1.3c), HEC Data- (Optional, HDMI 1.4+ with Ethernet)
Pin 15 SCL (I²C Serial Clock for DDC)
Pin 16 SDA (I²C Serial Data Line for DDC)
Pin 17 DDC/CEC/HEC Ground
Pin 18 +5 V Power (max 50 mA)
Pin 19 Hot Plug Detect (All versions) and HEC Data+ (Optional, HDMI 1.4+ with Ethernet
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post #11 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Maybe take a step backwards. What is it that you need to test? What is that you are trying to accomplish?

If you can describe it to us with detail, perhaps someone can give you the answer since your strategy here for hooking speakers up to an HTPC via HDMI won't work.

My ultimate goal is to use my existing HTPC's throughout the house as whole home audio solutions, without having to buy any expensive / bulky hardware (minus speakers and cabling).

I have an HTPC, little ZBox's on the main floor, and bedroom (basement has a theater room and a dedicated small htpc build that is capable of 3D, just a little more powerful than little ZBox's). All run XBMC and are controlled via remotes on our iPhones.

What I had envisioned, in hopes of wife proofing as much as possible, was setting the HDMI out from our zbox to an hdmi splitter (I already have one for testing). Then, a simple remote press would send the signal either to the TV, or to the speakers. Regardless of where it is being sent, the iPhone will control what is played.

I am not aware of an easy way to switch between audio outputs of the little zboxes, and am not aware of a way to dual output audio. So, that is why I came up with this solution.

The other solution is to just go to the zbox and plug in a cable to the headphone jack, which would go directly to a speaker. This is less than ideal, but will work.

So, ultimate goal is to use xbmc box to control audio to external speakers via one app in the iphone. As soon as multiple remotes, physically moving cables / plugging them in, and multiple apps are involved to accomplish this, then this becomes un-wife proof.

Edit - 3 of the 4 htpc's have xbmc live, so linux based.
The theater room AVR has zone 1 and 2 spoken for alredy (11.2 surround), so I can't use that. And, I problably wouldn' use that one anyway, I have 2 other computers in the basement I'd use in it's place.
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post #12 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 06:18 AM
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The other solution is to just go to the zbox and plug in a cable to the headphone jack, which would go directly to a speaker. This is less than ideal, but will work.

You need an amplifier to drive the speaker.
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post #13 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzirkelb View Post

My ultimate goal is to use my existing HTPC's throughout the house as whole home audio solutions, without having to buy any expensive / bulky hardware (minus speakers and cabling).

I have an HTPC, little ZBox's on the main floor, and bedroom (basement has a theater room and a dedicated small htpc build that is capable of 3D, just a little more powerful than little ZBox's). All run XBMC and are controlled via remotes on our iPhones.

If I'm reading the XBMC site correctly, it is designed to use standard network wiring (e.g. CAT 5 - CAT-6) as its distribution backbone. Sounds like a heck of an idea!

No way is HDMI designed as a large scale network backbone. It is flexible enough and there are enough add-ons to use it that way in a limited sense but...
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post #14 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

You need an amplifier to drive the speaker.

You don't need an amplifier to drive the speaker, it's the same way headphones work. However, instead of having the headphone speaker, you have your speaker. Aka, computer speakers. Quality takes a hit, but for outdoor audio, I don't care.
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post #15 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

If I'm reading the XBMC site correctly, it is designed to use standard network wiring (e.g. CAT 5 - CAT-6) as its distribution backbone. Sounds like a heck of an idea!

No way is HDMI designed as a large scale network backbone. It is flexible enough and there are enough add-ons to use it that way in a limited sense but...

I don't plan on using it as a large scale hdmi backbone, I just wanted to strip the audio from one output of my htpc, and that audio was in the hdmi. From there, I will create a network of speakers as I see fit (probably just two, one in kitchen, one on deck, they can play same stuff at same time).
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post #16 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 07:12 AM
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You don't need an amplifier to drive the speaker, it's the same way headphones work.

OK then.

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Aka, computer speakers.

If you're talking about powered speakers...they have amplifiers in them, that's what the power is for.

...but you don't need any advice.
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post #17 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Correct, computer speakers have power, but I'm pretty sure headphones don't have power, last time I checked. If they have power, then I do need advice.
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post #18 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...t=1#largeimage work for what I am talking about? For 40 bucks, I'd consider this a solution, and it is small in size and has a remote.
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post #19 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 08:03 AM
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Correct, computer speakers have power, but I'm pretty sure headphones don't have power, last time I checked

You stated that headphones and speakers work the same way.
You were told numerous times that you need an amplifier to drive the speaker, you claim that you don't.
What exactly do you want?
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post #20 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by dzirkelb View Post

... then I do need advice.

You're getting advice, you don't want to accept it.
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post #21 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzirkelb View Post

Correct, computer speakers have power, but I'm pretty sure headphones don't have power, last time I checked. If they have power, then I do need advice.

When was the last time you plugged a set of headphones into something that didn't have power going to it and heard sound

Bill
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post #22 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

You stated that headphones and speakers work the same way.
You were told numerous times that you need an amplifier to drive the speaker, you claim that you don't.
What exactly do you want?

I don't understand what is so hard to accept. Take a pair of headphones, splice the wire, hook it up to a speaker, it works. I'm not sure what is difficult to understand here.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-...-to-35mm-jack/

Maybe he will do a better job of showing how to hook up a speaker to a 3.5mm.
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post #23 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mrfattbill View Post

When was the last time you plugged a set of headphones into something that didn't have power going to it and heard sound

Bill

ya, the device has power, sending the sound. The powered unit here would be my htpc.

What is so difficult here? I asked if you can go from hdmi directly to a speaker, that isn't possible, I accept that. Now, looking for alternatives, I posted the hdmi splitter that has the 3.5mm out, asking if that will work. I would like to know a response, not banter on why I can't hook up a speaker to a 3.5mm out.
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post #24 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 08:39 AM
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Assuming that the output on that HDMI switcher works properly then you would also need one of these or something similar to drive what ever speakers you are thinking of using, the device assumes you are feeding an AVR or AMP of some type according to the description:
http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PCA1-30-W.../dp/B0012KZNP4

You will also need a 1/8" to RCA female to feed the AMP above:
http://www.amazon.com/ATLONA-STEREO-...ata/B000MMDHN8

Bill
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post #25 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mrfattbill View Post

Assuming that the output on that HDMI switcher works properly then you would also need one of these or something similar to drive what ever speakers you are thinking of using, the device assumes you are feeding an AVR or AMP of some type according to the description:
http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PCA1-30-W.../dp/B0012KZNP4

You will also need a 1/8" to RCA female to feed the AMP above:
http://www.amazon.com/ATLONA-STEREO-...ata/B000MMDHN8

Bill

That would work I think, and is cheap, and is small in size. Thanks for that link, I'll do some research on that to see if it will work (size constraints, price, wife usability, etc). Thanks!
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post #26 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 08:45 AM
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Take a pair of headphones, splice the wire, hook it up to a speaker, it works.

Wow...you don't have a clue, and you won't accept any advice.

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I'm not sure what is difficult to understand here.

Me neither.

Quote:


I posted the hdmi splitter that has the 3.5mm out, asking if that will work. I would like to know a response

I answered that yesterday, 3rd post form the top.

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What is so difficult here?

You, you are difficult.
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post #27 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 09:00 AM
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From your monoprice link:
Quote:


... and 3.5mm stereo output ports to keep your A/V receiver in the loop with new HDMI® High Definition systems.

Quote:


... and analog 3.5mm Stereo channels to allow full integration of your existing stereo system.

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post #28 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 09:07 AM
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Spec's on the Pyle amp:
"The PCA1 mini stereo power amplifier from Pyle provides up to 15W of power on each channel at 4 ohms."

With 8 Ohm speakers, that drops the wattage down to ~ 7.5 watts per channel. Not much for outdoors let alone indoors.
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post #29 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 09:19 AM
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You might consider a completely different approach: change the problem! For $10 you can a USB sound device that puts out analog audio. Then simply change the default audio device in Windows Sound control panel to be that, rather than HDMI. And your problem is solved.

You still need an amp but seems like you have found a source of cheap ones (many more exist).

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Founder, Madrona Digital
"Insist on Quality Engineering"

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post #30 of 51 Old 04-10-2012, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

You might consider a completely different approach: change the problem! For $10 you can a USB sound device that puts out analog audio. Then simply change the default audio device in Windows Sound control panel to be that, rather than HDMI. And your problem is solved.

You still need an amp but seems like you have found a source of cheap ones (many more exist).

Good idea, but I would like the ability to send my sound to my TV for when I stream movies, and then to external speakers when I play music. So, HDMI for movies, whatever else for music. Unless I'm not understanding you correctly.

And, these boxes have XBMC installed with an embedded linux os, so no windows. however, I do have options to change the audio to differnt outputs, and change it to analog, it just isnt' as robust as windows.
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